Saint Joseph's baseball preview 2024
Saint Joseph's wrapped up an extraordinary 2023 season by clinching its inaugural Atlantic 10 regular-season championship, notching 28 overall victories, the fourth-highest in team history. Nonetheless, despite their commendable performance, the Hawks encountered disappointment with two losses in the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament, halting their journey after an impressive 17-7 record in conference play. 
 
"It was undoubtedly a fantastic season for us," said head coach Fritz Hamburg. "It was gratifying too to witness the recognition many of our players received for their dedication both on and off the field." 
 
Under Hamburg's adept guidance, the team amassed an array of individual accolades, with nine players clinching All-Conference honors. Recognizing his outstanding leadership, Hamburg secured the title of Atlantic 10 Baseball Coach of the Year, marking his second win in his 15-year tenure with the Hawks. 

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, the Hawks confront a revamped roster landscape, bidding farewell to key players Nate Thomas (graduation) and Brett Callahan (MLB Draft pick), who collectively contributed 22 home runs and 108 RBIs. 

"You simply can't replace players of that caliber," Hamburg remarked with a chuckle. "Few programs nationwide possess such talent, but we anticipate other players stepping up and making contributions in their own way." 

Junior outfielder Ryan Cesarini (Valley View) emerges as one of the offensive standouts on the Hawks' roster, poised to mitigate the absence of the two top-tier bats. Hailing from Archibald, Pa., Cesarini has garnered national attention this season, securing a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Third Team. His outstanding performance last season, leading the conference with a .392 batting average and amassing 56 RBIs, earned him recognition on prestigious regional and All-Conference teams. 
 
"We can't speak highly enough of this young man," Hamburg praised. "He's poised to once again be among the best in the Atlantic 10." 
 
Sophomore infielder Ryan Weingartner (Berlin, NJ./St. Augustine) represents another crucial component of the offense. Starting 48 games as a freshman last season, he finished fourth on the team with a .323 batting average, ten homers, and 36 RBIs. Additionally, he swiped 17 bags. 
 
Sophomore pitchers Ryan DeSanto (Tuscarora) and Will McCausland (Souderton) are poised to play pivotal roles in 2024, following impressive rookie campaigns where they earned recognition on the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team. 
 
DeSanto, hailing from Frederick, Md., concluded his rookie campaign with a 4-1 record across 14 appearances, including 11 starts. He racked up 74 strikeouts over 58 2/3 innings while limiting opponents to a .178 batting average. 
 
McCausland, from Harleysville, Pa., played a critical role as the team's Friday starter in conference matchups, logging a team-high 74 2/3 innings and posting a 5.42 ERA. "The experience gained by these three individuals last year is invaluable. We anticipate all three playing significant roles moving forward," Hamburg affirmed. 
 
Senior right-hander Dom Picone, transferring from Rhode Island, emerged as another pivotal asset in the Hawks' rotation last season, boasting an impressive 2.74 ERA in league play while landing a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. 
 
The Hawks commence the 2024 campaign on February 16 with a three-game series at Smithson Field against Canisius, followed by a non-conference schedule featuring match-ups with Bucknell, UNC-Wilmington, Monmouth, and Kent State. 
 
Conference play kicks off on March 28 with a weekend series at Davidson. 
 
"This marks the final year of the eight-weekend format in the A-10," Hamburg observed. "There's excitement for the conference's transition to a 10-weekend schedule in 2025. We have some solid home series in 2024, welcoming Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, George Mason, and George Washington to Smithson. 
 
It should be a great year, we're excited to get things going."

1 Comments

Ryan Stitcher said…
VCU/Phillies Baseball fan here

Do you have any thoughts on preseason A10 prognostication. There's a real dearth of A10 baseball preseason stuff. Just curious...I know we're a bit of a baseball backwater.
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